Marcia has traveled solo to more than 80 countries. Became “more courageous and resilient” – NiT

Visiting other parts of the world is always an unforgettable experience. Traveling with purpose is even better. And it can even lead to profound transformations – that’s what happened to Marcia Monteirowhen he decided he just needed his own company to do it.

Marcia is 35 years old, she was born in Santa Maria da Feira, and since childhood she loved to travel. She is a university professor of management and marketing in Porto, and when she is not working, it is likely that she is thousands of miles away from Portugal.

“Since childhood, I have traveled with my family, but as a tourist. I often make a distinction between a tourist and a traveller. Travelers go through the whole experience of the country, get acquainted with places and culture,” he begins with NiT. Marcia stopped being a tourist and became a traveler exactly seven years ago, when she made her first independent trip. At the time, I didn’t think it would be the first of many.

“There was a time in my life when I was in a situation where I could only take a vacation in March, a month when there is usually no vacation. Since there was no one to go with me, I went alone. I became a traveler because I started traveling for a different purpose,” he says. The first solo adventure was not in Spain or France. Not even in Europe. The destination that became the turning point in his life was India.

Even after friends and family warned her not to go due to potential risks and dangers, Marcia didn’t listen to them. Or rather, didn’t want to hear them. Whether it was “because she was naive” or because she was “in her prime,” she doesn’t know. At 24, he didn’t care what they told him, he decided that he would go anyway, and went.

“Since then, I have made the decision to travel alone more often. Not for lack of company, but of their own free will. At least once a year, I try to travel out of the country to geographically and culturally distant places,” he says. After all, there is nothing better than being all alone on the other side of the world and outside our comfort zone, to grow as a person and look at life with different eyes.

Even traveling alone, she admits that she never felt insecure: “I went through some situations, but nothing special. In Thailand, for example, I stopped by a taxi driver who got lost and didn’t speak English. There was a small robbery attempt on me in Zambia, which did not take place because I managed to protect myself. He admits that everything that can happen to him on the other side of the world, even in the most dangerous places, can happen here in Portugal.

For this reason, the care is always the same, regardless of the city. “I always try to be in places where there are more people, not to go out after a certain time of the night, because in some countries it can be really dangerous. They need to be taken care of on a daily basis, not just on a trip,” he says.

Marcia has visited so many countries that she stopped counting them, but she knows that there were more than 80. In private – only in the company of local residents – she met Zimbabwe, Colombia, Bolivia, Thailand, Vietnam, Tanzania. , Chile, Argentina and many others. In all of them there was a different person. “India was the country where I experienced the greatest cultural difference. I don’t usually repeat travel destinations and the only thing I did was India. When I went on this first journey alone, the transformation was so great that I felt like I needed to relive it again,” she says.

Travel Magic book.

On August 15 of this year, just the day he came to India for the second time, his first book came out: “The Magic of Travel”. At first glance, it might seem like it’s about routes and routes, but it’s much more than that. “The book is completely focused on my personal transformation. I felt that I became a more courageous, resilient, considerate and supportive person. When we come into contact with realities so different from ours, we are more attentive to the problems of the world,” he emphasizes.

Book.

It’s not just about destinations, but mostly about who we become when we travel. “The most valuable knowledge that I acquired was not about countries, but about courage, courage, self-love and resilience. I have become stronger because I have learned to cope with different problems and I am less judgmental. When we come into contact with such different realities, we begin to judge less and ask more questions,” he says.

He began writing the book about five years ago, largely thanks to the support of friends and family. While he was making some posts on social networks, they began to tell him that he should create a blog, because “they were delirious from what he shared.” However, he preferred to do something more tangible and began to write almost secretly.

On each of his trips, where every day was different, there was something that never changed: At the end of the day, he manually wrote down the people he met, the conversations he had, the experiences he had, and the what he learned from it. all. “I’m afraid I won’t remember these things in the future, so I wrote and continue to write everything on the same day, I leave no room for forgetting ideas. It turns out exactly how I feel at the moment, ”he admits.

Over 272 book pages available online for 16 € he reports on some of the episodes he went through during his adventures around the world. Each chapter focuses on a specific country and the first one describes what it was like to travel to India alone for the first time. “People walk barefoot down the street, they are dirty. At first we think that they are poor people, but then I realized that, despite the lack of economic conditions, which we understand as ideal, they live with this reality, and everything is fine. For me, accustomed to a different reality, learning to accept it and come to terms with this reality was a difficult process,” says the author.

Traveling alone, he even participated in two volunteer programs, in Vietnam and Cambodia, which are also mentioned in the work. In the first country, he worked in a public canteen, where he cooked food for the most disadvantaged segments of the population. In Cambodia, I went to a very remote village near the Thai border and taught English at a school for needy children. “The feeling we feel knowing we’re helping the cause is priceless. It’s a feeling of gratitude.”

Marcia has chosen 10 countries that she considers the most transformative. In each chapter, he describes the events that took place in that place and what he learned from those episodes. There are a few more challenges in the book so that readers can also experience something similar and in some way “feel this transformation.”

In addition to wanting other people to travel without fear, even alone, Marcia wanted them to start “traveling with purpose.” When you travel to a foreign country with the intention of learning something rather than just seeing the sights, it gives a different meaning to the trip.

“I have visited almost all countries in Europe because of the proximity, but I don’t have much memories of travel. I know I went to the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben, but nothing happened. I remained the same Marcia. But if you ask me what places I visited in India, I can describe everything: where I went, who I talked to. Sometimes I even think that I can still smell or hear horns. All this is present in my memory, because these were trips with a specific purpose.

Then click on the gallery to see photos of Marcia Monteiro from her solo travels.

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